Wednesday, 15 May 2013

On the Mayor-making in Camden

The Camden Lib Dems have created another fuss - and a little traction in the press, even an editorial - over their demand, against convention, to nominate a councillor for this year's Mayoralty.

At 13 out of 54 councillors, the Lib Dems are the official opposition over a slightly smaller Conservative Group.

In expectation of their protests in front of the Borough's citizens this evening at the Mayor-making, it's important to set out why - in our local democracy - the Mayoralty is not shared.

As the Lib Dems full well know, the Mayor performs a constitutional role as the borough's first citizen, as well as the ceremonial role they covet.  

The Mayor, for example, has the casting vote in council meetings when Camden's £250m Budget is set.  

If Mayors were just about eating cucumber sandwiches and opening Camden-in-Bloom events they might have a point, but it seems like they intend to play games with those present by confusing the constitutional and ceremonial roles that are both present in the Mayoralty.

While we of course respect Cllr. Rea's long-service, the Liberal Democrats know the Mayoralty is crucial to the functioning of the council, the leadership of which was decided decisively by Camden voters at the last election.

They voters had their say, so perhaps the Lib Dems should respect that?

Update:  Here's the spat, as reported in the New Journal.  Most guests were a bit bemused by this. 

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